National Catholic Sisters Week

An annual celebration of Women Religious - Mar. 8-14

FSPA and partners acted for food insecurity

In the spirit of Catholic Sisters Week, March 8 - 14, 2021, the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration joined a collaborative effort to serve persons in need and bring much needed awareness to the current increase in food insecurity. FSPA accepted this call to action presented by the Leadership Conference of Women Religious. And 32 partners in mission joined us by taking the pledge! 

Catholic Sisters Week: Challenge to End Hunger

Pledge Results

32 partners pledged (4 sisters, 7 staff, 11 affiliates, 8 prayer partners and 2 friends)

Actions (you could select more than one):
Donate food to local food pantries (19 committed 205 pounds of food)
Give a financial gift to an organization (16 committed $2630)
Volunteer with a food bank (4 committed to more than 25 hours)
Provide a meal to someone in need (8)
Fast and pray (14)
Track food waste (6)
Share resources and information (5)

Congratulations to affiliate Madalene Buelow, winner of the $50 donation. Madalene requested the gift be sent to WAFER in La Crosse.

About our 2021 Catholic Sisters Week Action

“We’re acting in four specific ways,” says Sister Eileen McKenzie, FSPA President. “We’re partnering with Logan Northside Neighborhood Association to bring a new community garden to La Crosse, Wisconsin; we’re partnering with Place of Grace Catholic Worker House, also in La Crosse; we’re acting in Spokane, Washington, at Women’s and Children’s Free Restaurant and Community Kitchen; and, we’ve invited our partners in mission to take our pledge to act for hunger.”

FSPA’s new initiative, Seeding a Legacy of Healing, has invested $55,000 in the garden project. It will serve to build access to healthy local food sources by creating a culture of multigenerational learning through gardening for stronger community resilience. Organizers summarize the initial goals to:

 • Create a garden space for youth, families and neighbors living on the northside of La Crosse — a place of community pride and ownership. 
• Provide a space for learning and creativity with people of all ages and all abilities, that encourages healthy people and a healthy planet.
• Provide healthy, local food sources for youth, families and neighbors led by neighbors. 

Project organizers are working to secure a land-use agreement in the hopes of planting in the spring. 

At Place of Grace Catholic Worker House, FSPA’s $1,000 investment is supporting the organization’s efforts to provide meals creatively in COVID-19 times. “While we’re not able to host meals in our house due to the virus, we’ve been packaging and delivering meals to Cameron Park and now to Econo Lodge, La Crosse’s temporary COVID shelter,” says Myra Jansky, house coordinator at Place of Grace. “The Econo Lodge requests meals for 60 people.” 

On the West coast, Sister Kathy Roberg, who lives in Spokane, Washington, continues to volunteer at the Women and Children’s Free Restaurant and Community Kitchen. “We continue supporting our community during COVID-19,” says Sister Kathy. “We’re distributing healthy meals curbside from our restaurant and at other nonprofit organizations, such as the YWCA, Catholic Charities, Ronald McDonald House Charities and many others at no cost to those agencies and their program participants.”  

And to expand our efforts even more, FSPA has challenged all partners in mission, our affiliates, prayer partners and staff, to consider acting for food insecurity during Catholic Sisters Week. “We’ve invited them to sign a pledge,” says Rochelle Nicks, FSPA Mission Advancement Director. “The pledge invites participation that ranges from donating food or money to a food bank to setting up a Little Free Pantry, fasting and prayer to tracking food waste. We’ve invited our partners to report how they acted, and we’ll share our results on this page.” Everyone is invited to take the participate! See the pledge linked below.

There is a current increase in food insecurity due to underlying causes including COVID-19, poverty, unemployment/under employment and inconsistent access to healthy food. Our neighbors are hurting. Let’s step up to meet their need. 


Learn more about actions you can take and we invite you to check back at the conclusion of the challenge to add your action!
Take the pledge




The Northside Community Garden’s Seeding a Legacy of Healing grant team researched this data on the need for access to healthy food

Throwback ...
Catholic Sisters Week 2019

Area Catholic Sisters spread peace-making message

Created in collaboration with the Azubuike African American Council on the Arts, the videos feature vignettes of discriminatory and potentially violent situations sparked by ignorance and fear. The situations are resolved by listening.


Listen Up! Print Resources

Download and print the 11x17 Listen Up! poster
Download and print the Listen Up! bookmark


The Listen Up campaign was created for National Catholic Sisters Week. Sponsored by Catholic Sisters of the Upper Mississippi River Valley, which includes FSPA.

Listen Up graphic with a reminder to listen with your heart

Here's what Catholic Sisters of the Upper Mississippi Valley have to say about "Listen Up!":

“We are delighted to share a message of listening with the wider community,” Prioress Sandra Brunenn, Rock Island Benedictines, says. “Listen is the first word in St. Benedict’s Holy Rule. We are called to put aside our own prejudices to listen deeply to one another. Through deep listening we can create peaceful community.”

“We found a voice to help deliver the message of unity,” says Sister Johanna Rickl, Vice President of the Congregation of the Humility of Mary. "Our congregations' shared mission is to reconcile racial divides and to spark a much larger conversation about race relations in our world today."

Sister Janice Cebula, President of the Sisters of St. Francis, Clinton, says, “Too often we jump to conclusions about people we perceive as being different from us. We hope the videos will encourage viewers to stop to think about their own prejudices, value diversity and step out of their comfort zones.” 

Funding for Listen Up comes from the following religious communities: Congregation of the Humility of Mary, Davenport, Benedictine Sisters of St. Mary Monastery, Rock Island, Sisters of St. Francis, Clinton, Sisters of St. Francis, Dubuque, Sisters of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Dubuque, Sisters of the Presentation, Dubuque, Trappistine Sisters of Our Lady of the Mississippi Abbey, Sinsinawa Dominican Sisters, Sinsinawa, Wisconsin, Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration, La Crosse, Wisconsin



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